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China jets scrambled in air zone

Beijing, Nov. 29 (Reuters): China scrambled jets today in response to two US spy planes and 10 Japanese aircraft, including F-15 fighters, entering its new air defence zone over the East China Sea, state news agency Xinhua said, raising the stakes in a standoff with the US, Japan and South Korea.

The jets were scrambled for effective monitoring, Xinhua cited air force spokesman Shen Jinke as saying. The report gave no further details.

Japan and South Korea flew military aircraft through the zone, which includes the skies over islands at the heart of a territorial dispute between Japan and China, the two countries said yesterday, while Washington sent two unarmed B-52 bombers into the airspace earlier this week in a sign of support for its ally Japan.

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